US Navy swing loads MH-60R Seahawk
The US Navy has swing loaded an MH-60R Seahawk with both AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) in an operational area for the first time.
The swing load took place when the MH-60R of Helicopter Attack Squadron (HSM) 74 was transiting through the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb.
Loading both AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and the APKWS II gives the Seahawk greater flexibility, adding a medium-range guided option to its weapons footprint and giving the MH-60R both the range and bulk of the Hellfire with the addition of the lighter and more numerous APKWS II. This means both small, close-range watercraft and farther, heavier targets can be effectively neutralised by one crew on one platform.
The APKWS II is a laser-guided rocket similar to standard Hellfire missiles. The new system serves as a low-cost, high-accuracy variant to the Hellfire missiles previously used against lightly armoured targets.
Known as ‘Swamp Foxes’, the MH-60Rs of HSM 74 are the first squadron on the East Coast to have the software capable of supporting both weapons systems on one helicopter; and are the first to put their training and equipment to the test.
HSM-74 is assigned to Carrier Air Wing 3, embarked aboard USS Eisenhower. USS Eisenhower and its Carrier Strike Group are deployed in support of maritime security operations and theatre security cooperation efforts in the US 5th Fleet area of operations.
More from Defence Helicopter
Uruguay's African peacekeepers to receive new support helicopter
The donation of a utility helicopter by the UA will increase the Uruguayan peacekeeping deployment’s air support capabilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Turkiye's Gokbey helicopter marks first indigenous engined flight
On April 22, 2023, Turkish Aerospace’s T-625 GOKBEY general-purpose helicopter conducted a test flight with an indigenous TEI-TS1400 engine for the first time.
Canada to upgrade AW101 rescue helicopters in-country under Leonardo-IMP deal
Canada's IMP Aerospace will carry out upgrades on 13 of the 16 AW101 aircraft covered by the CMLU programme under a sub-contract from Leonardo Helicopters UK.
US Coast Guard to upgrade radars for MH-60 and MH-65 helicopter fleets
New Honeywell IntuVue RDR-7000 weather radars will be installed on USCG MH-60 and MH-65 helicopters.
Royal Navy helicopter crews transfer control of UAS in European first
Using technology supplied by QinetiQ, two Royal Navy helicopter crews successfully exchanged control of a UAS while in flight.